Lost habits and the acceptance of product service systems

Henrikus Schotman

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Product Service Systems (PSS) are a combination of products and services, jointly fulfilling a user’s need. PSS can offer numerous benefits for businesses, society and the environment, but consumer acceptance of PSS remains rather low. Required behaviour change and existing user habits are one of the key barriers for limited acceptance.

This thesis studies the role of habits in the PSS acceptance process, and in the PSS design process. Thereby, this research was aimed on conducting a long-term living lab study of a well-accepted mobility PSS for elderly, and a literature study on habits, behaviour and acceptance. Together, these studies have resulted in the proposition that addressing Lost Habits in the design process can lead to increased PSS acceptance.

The living lab study involved a small-scale mobility PSS for elderly. This PSS was well-accepted because it was able to restore values that were related to people’s discontinued habits. Thereby, it showed that addressing important values, for example providing independence and facilitating social connections, stimulated the acceptance of this particular PSS. Remarkably, the provision of “just” mobility was not a primary reason for acceptance, but merely an enabling framework.

Literature research pointed out that habits play a subordinate role in theory on behaviour and acceptance. However, this thesis found that habits play an important role in people’s lives, and restoring already changing behaviour, thereby enabling people to regain or sustain familiar behaviour may be more successful in fostering acceptance than triggering behavioural change. As a result, PSS acceptance can be enhanced, when the PSS is presented during or after a process of change, due to unwanted circumstances. In such situations, there is an intrinsic and personal driven motivation to use a PSS, as long as it provides the opportunity to continue desired behaviour.

Based on both approaches, the phenomenon of Lost Habits was identified as decisive phenomenon for high acceptance. This phenomenon was further analysed and elaborated upon in consecutive studies. Furthermore, it was worked out into a theoretical model and a design tool that design teams can use to increase PSS acceptance, based on people’s values, their behaviour, and their habits.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Eger, A.O., Supervisor
  • Ludden, Geke Dina Simone, Supervisor
Award date1 Sep 2017
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4367-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


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